CASE STUDY: Mariahilfer Strasse, Vienna, Austria
An interview with Mascha Onderwater, Landscape architect, Bureau B+B. In this case study Onderwater will tell you something about her project for the Mariahilfer Strasse, a fancy nineteenth century shopping boulevard in Vienna. The City of Vienna wanted to transform the street into an inviting, pedestrian friendly avenue. The 1,6 km long street has been redesigned as a continuous shared space, Europe’s longest shared space, divided into three zones.
Where pedestrians rule the inner zone of the street and the two outer zones designated as ‘shared spaces’. In the shared space principle, cars, bikes and pedestrians all use the same space. It took some time for the people of Vienna to get used to the idea of shared space, Viennese are fond of driving. Interventions likes information meetings, together with the designers, closing down for traffic one afternoon and a referendum about the new design showed that investing in local participation really shows off. In the end, 71% of the people were positive about the transformation of the Mariahilfer Strasse.
“People now move together in a unified space. They stroll and linger. There are now more places for young people to meet up. (…) A new way of life is evolving.”
– Günther Meier, center-manager
Before and after, Mariahilfer, Vienna
The comment table, Mariahilfer, Vienna